Sprout Central just turned one year old and we took the opportunity to say ‘thanks’ to those who have inspired us, supported us, raved about us, provided advice, given feedback, and encouraged us.
This milestone got me thinking about how often in business we reach out and ask for help and advice.
As a start-up creating a new space and re-defining industry expectations we cherish your opinions, your thoughts and we understand your challenges! When you boil it down, we’re all aiming for a similar goal – to create better communities, productive workplaces and a more prosperous New Zealand. We’re all in it together.
Vulnerability shows strength
Traditionally Kiwis have tended to have an independent working attitude – “let’s just get on with it and do it ourselves.'' In the past I will admit, I have shared this sentiment. It’s as if showing signs of uncertainty or asking for help would have a negative impact on credibility.
Generally, entrepreneurs can be reluctant to seek assistance. It seems to me like the opposite of what a self-starter should do. There is a feeling that they need to project complete confidence and competence and apparently asking for input and support will jeopardise this.
In my opinion, if you want to progress fast, avoid simple mistakes and fill the gaps in your knowledge base, you need to put your ego aside and get support.
My learning journey
When I joined Sprout as a start-up I felt out of my depth, particularly having worked with large corporate businesses previously. The Kiwi start-up and high growth community was new to me and slightly overwhelming.
Starting from scratch, I wasn’t sure what to expect and how to approach the accountants, lawyers and even my business partner!
I was however fortunate that over the years I had formed relationships with people who would be honest, ask the tough questions and had more knowledge than me. Tapping into this community was worth its weight in gold!
The risk versus reward of asking others for help is unquestionable – here’s why…
You’ll experience renewed energy
Knowing that someone else would take the time to help you out is reassuring and can enhance your sense of purpose. It’s motivating and powerful.
Asking your network is growing your network
When you ask your network for advice with your business, you’re growing your network.. You’re either interacting with new people or strengthening existing relationships.
It’s also a two-way street. The person you ask for advice might eventually ask for your input on something that’s new to them – it works both ways.
You’ll gain new perspectives
Listening to how others operate can flick a switch in your own thinking and bring insight into something you weren’t even considering.
It empowers others
It’s nice to think about the benefits others receive from being asked. You’re able to extend a gift to the giver by instilling confidence in them.
Seeking support is ‘in’
All of this is definitely becoming a trend, at least in my professional community. Founders, owners and leaders want to be connected with like-minded individuals, even those breaking into the same industry. It could be navigating the market, sourcing vendors or tapping into new technology – it’s amazing how many shared challenges we have.
Crucially, sharing advice on many of these topics doesn’t compromise IP or remove a competitive advantage. It’s just being a good citizen of the professional community.
Here at Sprout, we are huge advocates of being ‘connected’ and sharing experiences. So if you have been thinking about a business challenge or just something on your mind, reach out to us, and our network.